Grace. Just say the word, and many think immediately of the Christian hymn Amazing Grace. And, truly, the story of the writer of this hymn is all about the amazing grace of God.
John Newton was a slave trader who plied his business in the 1800s. He was a rough and immoral man who later described himself as a “wretch”—which, from all accounts, he was...and more!
Through a set of severe, life-threatening circumstances, Newton experienced a dramatic conversion that changed his heart and his way of life. He went on to become a famous preacher and songwriter. No wonder the first line of his hymn marvels, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!”
Yes, God’s grace is amazing. What’s more, God says this: My grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Have you ever done something bad—really bad? You knew you were wrong, and so did everyone else. And yet, your spouse, or your boss, or your children forgave you? Then you’ve tasted a little of what it means to receive mercy that was not warranted.
That’s what God’s grace is! Simply put, “grace” is God’s mercy, God’s favor—God’s unmerited favor.
From the very beginning of recorded history, God has demonstrated His favor, starting with Adam and Eve. This couple willfully disobeyed God and deserved the punishment of death for their disobedience. But God showed forth His grace—His favor—toward them instead, which was definitely unmerited!
And so it has been down through Bible history. The nation of Israel is another example of God’s grace. The people deserved destruction, but God was gracious and did not abandon them.
Now let’s fast-forward to today, to you. The Bible clearly states that “all [and that “all” means all!] have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
Like all those who have gone before you, you don’t deserve God’s favor, either. You deserve death. But (and here comes God’s undeserved favor), “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
Grace is God’s intentional bestowal of His loving favor on those whom He saves. You can’t earn grace. If you could, it would no longer be unmerited. And you cannot save yourselves. Only God can save you. The only way for you to receive this gift of God’s grace is by faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24).
Friend, has God’s grace been poured out on you through Jesus Christ? If so, then you have experienced God’s amazing, sufficient, and undeserved grace.
Lord, thank You for Your abounding grace in our lives. May our gratitude abound as well! Amen.
Forward this devotion to someone you know who could use this reminder of God’s grace.
Grace is God’s intentional bestowal of His loving favor on those whom He saves. You can’t earn grace.